Nearly 6,000 turn out for early voting

Getting out the vote is not easy for any election, but it’s especially difficult during primary season in non-Presidential election years.

Yet, elections offices like the one in Pasco County is doing everything they can to attract voters, and there is at least some good news from Brian Corley’s office as early voting wraps up late Saturday night.

More than 23,000 ballots have been cast in the county — including just under 5,800 ballots from early voting — as residents share their voice on who should represent them either in November, or in some cases, on the various government boards themselves.

The totals released as of 9 p.m. Saturday represent a nearly 8 percent turnout, according to Corley’s office. That includes more than 17,600 that have arrived by mail.

The biggest turnout so far has been at Timber Oaks in Port Richey, where 432 mail-in ballots and 75 early vote ballots represent 13.4 percent of the voting population. Not far behind are voters who use the Beacon Woods Civic Center in Bayonet Point as a polling place, where 487 mail ballots and 145 early votes already have been cast, representing a little more than 13 percent of the vote.

The smallest turnout in the county is Precinct 96, where voters there cast ballots at Carpenter’s Run Clubhouse in Lutz, where just 52 mail-in ballots and 16 early votes have been counted, representing less than 3 percent of the total voter population there. Not far behind was Precinct 48, which uses Calvary Baptist Church in Wesley Chapel as a polling place, that has received 37 mail-in votes and 16 early votes, representing 3.4 percent of eligible voters there.

Nearly 11,000 of the votes cast were done by registered Republicans, while 9,500 were from registered Democrats, according to Corley’s office. The remaining 3,000 or so are from those who are members of other parties, or completely independent. That represents about a 46 percent turnout of the votes cast by Republicans, 41 percent for Democrats and 13 percent for everyone else.

The election office, by the way, says registered Republicans make up 38 percent of all county voters, while Democrats represent 34 percent, and independents 28 percent. The higher number of voters from the two larger parties is not a surprise considering Florida is a closed primary state, and those not registered for any party would be limited to judges, school board members, and the Pasco County Commission race between incumbent Henry Wilson Jr. and challenger Mike Wells Jr., which is an open primary since there is no November challenger.

Be sure to bookmark for all your late-breaking primary election coverage this coming week. To see complete statistics on voter turnout, visit the Pasco County Supervisor of Elections website by clicking here.

Primary voting day is Aug. 26.

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